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Screw the World Religions

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Find Your Happy Place

Jonas Krant

I am an agnostic, but contemplating atheism. Agnostics like the idea of God; however they feel that it cannot be proven, while an atheist just flat out doesn't believe. I was raised Jewish, but I have never been very religious, although my parents sent me to Hebrew school, and forced me to go to temple. Over the years that I have spent being taught Hebrew, and reading the stories from The Old Testament, I have come to realize that that is all they really are, stories. I mean come on, Noah's Ark, Adam and Eve; you have got to be kidding me. The Old Testament is the Jewish holy book, written by the Hebrews in order to explain everything they couldn't understand.

For instance, look at the story of Noah's ark. There was an ice age in the very early days of man and most places were completely frozen over. The Hebrews could not understand how any of the animals survived the ice, so they made up a story about Noah and his ark. Supposedly Noah was to bring two of each species of animals on his boat. However, there are over 50 million different species of animal, and boat with that capacity would have been the size of Texas.

In addition to the fairytales of The Old Testament, let's take a look at some of the very corrupt teachings in the Bible. There is a specific passage in the book of Leviticus, in which there is a man of Egyptian and Israeli descent passing through an Israeli camp. He happens to make a remark about God, and they sentenced him to death by stoning. "Now an Israelite woman's son, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the people of Israel; and the Israelite woman's son and a man of Israel quarreled in the camp, and the Israelite woman's son blasphemed the Name, and cursed. And they brought him to Moses. His mother's name was Shelo'mith, the daughter of Dibri, and the tribe of Dan. And they put him in custody, till the will of the LORD should be declared to them. And the LORD said to Moses, "Bring out of the camp him who cursed; and let all who heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him. And say to the people of Israel, Whoever curses his God shall bear his sin. He who blasphemes the name of the LORD shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him; the sojourner as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death." (Leviticus 24:10-16) This is completely appalling; don't Christianity and Judaism also teach people to respect human life? Is life so unimportant that every time someone says something bad about God he should die? Does God want human sacrifice? Now why worshiping a God like that would be appealing to anyone is beyond me.

How about Hell? As I was reading Dante's Inferno, I could not believe some of the people who were supposed to be sent to Hell! Among them are: Homosexuals, diviners like Tiresias, and Pagans for God's sake! The sodomites, or the homosexuals are described in Canto XV, and more clearly in the notes for the chapter, "The wood that lay behind us, had I looked back, when we encountered another troop of souls who looked at us the way that men will look at one another at dusk," (XV,13-16) "The souls described in this canto and the next one are the souls of sodomites: men who had sex with other men." (pg 328, ln 14) Another instance that shocked me, was when Dante ran into Tiresias, who from what I remember, from reading Oedipus and The Odyssey, was a pretty good guy. He was admitted into Hell for being, "The seer who changed from male to female, unmanned through all his body until the day he struck a second time with his staff at serpents entwined and resumed his manly plumage." (XX, 40-43) Among the Pagans, who make up part of the population in Limbo, are the souls who worshipped a different God, people who weren't baptized and people who were born before Jesus Christ; The Unbaptized, The Lustful, Gluttons, Splenders & Hoarders, and The Wrathful & Sullen are the five different sins that the souls of Limbo have committed. "Traditionally, Limbo is inhabited by souls of un-baptized babies and figures from the Old Testament who died before the time of Christ and hence before Christianity. Dante also includes the souls of virtuous pagans such as Virgil, both histories and Mythological." (pg 311, ln 25-32) This is absurd, why is it that just because someone has completely opposite beliefs, and finds faith and comfort in a different god's teachings, that they should be sent to Hell. No one should have the right to judge someone by what they believe in, or how they wish to live their life.

After being taught all of these stories for the majority of my life, and even after having a Barmitzvah, I have come down to the question... What is religion? After asking many of my friends and family if they could give me their best definition of religion, each one of them said something along the lines of religion being the worship of a godlike figure(s), or that the worship of a God is needed in order for something to be named



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